by Rachel Reid.
Blurb: Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.
Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardise that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.
Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realises he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.
As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
Release Date: 25th March, 2019.
Length: 310 pages.
Series: Game Changers #2.
Genre: M/M Romance. QUILTBAG. Sports.
Read as: eBook.
My Thoughts:Heated Rivalry is a book that takes place over the course of many years. While technically a sequel to the first Game Changers book (of the same name) Heated Rivalry takes place before and after the events of the first book.
Just a quick warning for people: due to the many years the romance of Shane and Ilya span across, the pair are intimate with other people. While the book is never present in these moments, these other relationships and encounters are referenced heavily throughout the book. So if that’s not your thing, head’s up.
If you can stick around through these parts of the story, you are rewarded with a great story of these two characters coming together and working through their issues – towards their own happy ending.
I really enjoyed the characters of this book, Ilya is true to form from the first book of the series, coming off as cocky and arrogant. I absolutely love how much of an absolute arsehole Ilya is to everyone. Not only is he a shit-stirrer to other players, he is such a cocky jerk to Shane. While certainly these are character faults, I nonetheless loved him for them. Add to this the adorable and straight laced Shane, and you have interactions and scenes that are not only funny but sexually charged.
While initially I did find the timeline format of the book a little bit off putting, I really enjoyed seeing Iyla and Shane interact with each other over the years of their careers. As soon as I embraced the format of the book, I found myself flying through the novel.
The emotional vulnerabilities and slow burn nature of the pairs romance was expertly handled. The writing and pace of the story did not disappoint and I found myself very invested in the happiness of this couple. I loved Heated Rivalry and am really excited to read more from Rachel Reid.
Also, who knows, I may actually watch a hockey game!
Recommendations: Okay, so this book might not be for everyone but if you enjoyed Game Changers, then definitely give it a go. Also if you like the sound of Heated Rivalry, I would recommend reading Game Changers first, as not only do you meet Ilya in this book but the actions of this first book affect plot of the second.
Please note: I received a copy of Heated Rivalry from NetGalley.